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Decision No. 14,240

Appeal of a STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY by her parents and the Board of Education of the Greece Central School District to compel James G. Parker, as Impartial Hearing Officer, to issue an impartial hearing decision.

Decision No. 14,240

(November 1, 1999)

Susan Burgess, Esq., attorney for petitioner parents of a Student with a Disability

Bouvier, O'Connor, attorneys for petitioner Board of Education of the Greece Central School District, Bruce Goldstein and Elizabeth Wright, Esqs., of counsel

 

MILLS, Commissioner.--Pursuant to "276.8(c) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, I hereby determine that Decision No. 14,211, dated September 15, 1999, must be reopened in the interest of justice to grant additional relief.

Petitioners appealed from the failure of an impartial hearing officer (IHO) to render a decision. The appeal was sustained on September 15, 1999 (Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 39 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,211).

In the original appeal, petitioners sought a decision in their favor or, in the alternative, immediate appointment of an IHO for the sole purpose of rendering a decision in the hearing. On September 15, 1999, I issued a decision in this case at which time nine months had passed since the parties submitted their post-hearing briefs. Even assuming that an extension of the forty-five day period was properly granted, the hearing decision was substantially overdue. I found that petitioners were entitled to have a written decision issued and that respondent failed to fulfill his obligation to provide the decision in a timely manner. I ordered respondent to issue a decision on the record of the hearing within ten days of my September 15, 1999 decision and to provide a copy of said decision to my Office of Counsel immediately.

To date respondent has failed to deliver such decision to my Office of Counsel as ordered. Respondent's certification as an impartial hearing officer was revoked on October 28, 1999 and, as a consequence, he is no longer authorized to issue a decision in this matter.

Because petitioners are entitled to a hearing decision, I hereby order petitioner board to appoint a new IHO, within 10 days of the date of this decision, to review the record of the hearing before respondent that was concluded on August 17, 1998 and to render a decision upon that record within 30 days of his or her appointment.

IT IS ORDERED that petitioner board remove respondent from its rotational list of impartial hearing officers.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner board appoint the next available impartial hearing officer from its rotational list, within 10 days of this decision, to review the record of the hearing before respondent that was concluded on August 17, 1998 and to render a decision upon that record within 30 days from the date of his or her appointment.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that petitioner board submit proof of its appointment of a new IHO, in accordance with this decision, to my Office of Counsel within five days of the date of the appointment.

END OF FILE